News story

Young offenders' garden scoops prize at Hampton Court Flower Show

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A garden designed by young offenders supervised by Southend Youth Offending Service has scooped a prize at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

The garden is a representation of a British Home Front garden during the Second World War, and won a bronze award at this year’s show.

The award was the culmination of months of preparation, which involved young people preparing a design for a garden, which was submitted to the organisers of the Hampton Court Flower Show.

The youngsters, aged 10 to 18, then worked together to create the award-winning garden.

The entry into the flower show came about after Southend Youth Offending Team (YOT) decided to use work on allotments as a way of engaging young offenders.

Tony Wagstaff, a supervisor from Southend YOT, said: ‘It’s hard work for these kids and they’ve built this garden themselves.

‘They had to put in time after school hours, and at weekends and it’s not easy work - moving a big garden shed on rollers, laying turf and making fence panels.’

He added: ‘But when these young people saw the end product of their work, they started getting their phones out and taking pictures for their mums and dads. That’s when you know they’re proud of their work.’